How many times have you heard this in an argument-“It’s not what you said, it’s the way you said it that irked me off.” And if you are someone who is often oblivious to these finer nuances of communication, chances are quite often. Good and transparent communication is the key to a perfect relationship, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be verbal. A lot of communication is non-verbal. This component of communication is known as body language which is expressed through a variety of measures such as facial and body gestures, the tone of voice, etc.
But aren’t we aware that our body language has the power to reveal our deepest, darkest secrets. It works more effectively than verbal communication because it has the power to alter our perception of a situation or a person in a very covert manner. Looking at the way a person is standing, we can reach judgements about his/her state of mind, such is the power of body language. Since we have already established how important a component of communication body language is, it will come as no surprise to you that your body language also has the power to make or break relationships. Let us see how it manages to do so.
1. You Often Cross Your Arms
This happens to even the best of us. Often, while having deep conversations with someone, we unconsciously cross our arms. Adapting such a stance sends across the message that you are holding off from the conversation or you are closed to it. You might be listening to the conversation intently but because of this stance, you will appear on the back foot and in a defensive position. Adopting such a stance might put off your partner, who might perceive you as not interested in the conversation.
2. Too Much Fidgeting
When you move around a lot or when you are tapping your foot against the table you are signalling to the world that you are anxious or that you have got something to hide. Displaying such a behaviour can be taken as a sign of discomfort. And if you are doing this while conversing with your partner, it signals your disinterest in the conversation and makes them believe that you have better things to do than stand there and talk to them.
3. Constantly Checking Your Phone
Well, if you are one of those who finds it very hard to unplug, we have some bad news for you. All your efforts to slyly glance at your phone while spending time with your SO are being registered by them. This becomes a demonstration for them of their value in your life. And, since you are making it clear that having a decent conversation with them ranks lower on your priority ladder than checking out the latest like on your Instagram picture, it is no wonder they become miffed with you.
4. Avoiding Eye Contact
Avoiding eye contact signals a major red flag in a relationship. Eye contact is a way to build trust between two parties and it stands for frankness and honesty. Our eyes are also very evocative and can convey a myriad of emotions quite easily, after all, eyes are considered windows to the soul (3). Therefore, avoiding eye contact is a major no-no. Doing so only signifies that you have got something to hide.
5. Leaning Away From Your Partner
It is common for a couple in love to sit together facing each other, such that they might be lightly grazing each other’s body parts. This willingness to touch each other signals a kind of warmth and intimacy in the relationship. If you are leaning away from your partner or deliberately avoiding sitting that way, it might be that you are no longer comfortable in touching your partner. It might signal a loss of intimacy, on the other hand, if your partner is deliberately moving away from you it might be because s/he suspects your motives.
6. No “Mirroring”
Mirroring is a unique way in which our body language works to build trust and create an understanding between two people. It is your body’s unconscious way of identifying with someone else. It seems to say to the other person that I am like you. If your SO is imitating your body language and gestures, it is a signal that everything is going great between the two of you, and that you are in agreement with each other. However, the absence of this indicates a loss of interest.
No matter how much you love your partner, or how much you trust them, your body might be betraying you by conveying quite the opposite to your partner. By paying attention to these signs, you can make sure that your verbal and non-verbal communication is on the same page. Doing so would also ensure that you are not sabotaging your relationship unknowingly by giving off unintentional and unwanted messages.